MANILA – Local and foreign experts are studying how better conservation of migratory species worldwide can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu called for international collaboration on the matter, noting migratory species provide multiple benefits to humans and help maintain ecological balance.
“It’s our duty to reciprocate by harmoniously co-existing with them,” he said Sunday at an international high-level panel discussion the Philippine government hosted in Manila.
Migratory species are animals that cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries in response to seasons, availability of food or need to reproduce, according to the Philippines’ Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB).
The BMB said animal migration can be found in all major animal groups including birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects and crustaceans.
Among migratory species’ benefits cited during the high-level panel discussion are food, pollination and pest control. Such species also have potential as medicinal sources and eco-tourism draws.
Zero hunger as well as good health and well-being are part of the SDGs.
BMB said several SDGs reflect importance of biodiversity and ecosystems. Achieving the SDGs and conserving biodiversity and ecosystems are interlinked, BMB continued.
The panel discussion was among activities of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) 12th Conference of the Parties (COP 12) in Metro Manila this week.
CMS is an inter-governmental treaty under UNEP and provides the global platform for conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and habitats of these species.
Parties to CMS agree to protect and conserve migratory species particularly those at high risk of extinction.
CMS COP 12’s theme, “Their future is our future – sustainable development for wildlife and people,” highlights the link between migratory species’ conservation and sustainable development.
“Each is dependent on the other so we’re emphasizing such link,” said BMB Dir. Theresa Mundita Lim.
She said insights of participants in Sunday’s high-level panel discussions will help further refine the draft Manila Declaration the Philippine government prepared earlier for presentation during CMS COP 12.
“We’re hoping for Manila Declaration’s adoption during CMS COP12,” she said on the panel discussion’s side.
The draft Manila Declaration advocates better conservation of the world’s migratory species to help achieve the SDGs.
At the 18th ASEAN Working Group On Coastal and Marine Environment’s meeting in Metro Manila this May 2017, Cimatu urged ASEAN nations to join CMS. He made the call, warning several migratory species are already nearing extinction.
The Philippines is so far the sole ASEAN nation that is party to CMS, he noted.